Smart Solutions / Blog / August 2013 / What is the most common restaurant inspector infraction?

What is the most common restaurant inspector infraction?

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at your favorite restaurant?

I encourage everyone to keep up to date with local food inspections. Most of these are easily attainable online through many outlets. I have found that many local news websites have a good archived section that is constantly updated.

Now let’s talk numbers. I have randomly selected Milwaukee, Wisconsin to use as an example.

Over the months of July and August of 2013 there were approx. 150 inspections in the Milwaukee area.

The following is a break down of infractions by the numbers. (July-Aug)

  • 15 citations for dirty equipment coming in contact with food “Food equipment must be clean and sanitized before used with food,” inspectors wrote.
  • 15 citations for pests, though they aren’t a critical violation unless there’s an infestation. Inspectors this month found fruit flies, fruit flies and more fruit flies. And a couple of old mouse droppings.
  • 16 citations for restaurants that didn’t have plumbing intact. Leaky faucets and broken toilets will garner a violation.
  • 21 citations for broken equipment, from refrigerators and coolers to can openers.
  • 22 citations for poor maintenance. These citations are for peeling paint, light bulbs that don’t work, clutter and too much garbage.
  • 24 citations for not providing employees and customers with a way to dry their hands after washing them. These restaurants didn’t have hand towels or paper towels.
  • 24 citations for certain foods not being separated to avoid contamination, for example, raw meat right next to fresh veggies. This is a critical violation.
  • 27 citations for dirty surfaces and other things that come in contact with food. Inspectors found many ice machines with mold buildup, as well as dirty food prep and storage areas.
  • 28 citations for no date marks on ready-to-eat food, a critical violation. For safety reasons, restaurants are supposed to date foods, so they don’t serve anything that exceeds use-by dates.

And the winner is:

  • 42 citations for temperature issues, whether that was keeping milk and sour cream in a cooler that was too warm or offering hot food from a buffet that was too cold. Holding food at inappropriate temperatures is a critical violation, which means there’s a higher risk of food-borne disease.

Almost 20% of infractions are due to failure of maintaining proper temperatures. Not only does this affect your bottom line as an owner, but more importantly it increases the likelihood of food-bourne illness for guests.

Fortunately the solution is simple!

There are many options for your temperature monitoring needs, including Freshtemp’s 

These systems are proven to help you pass inspections and more importantly protect your food and your guests. In the next post I will walk you though what to consider when selecting the right kit for you.

Until then Enjoy your week!